RE: Official ISO 3166 country codes online

Date: Wed Dec 01 1999 - 13:31:27 EST

Michael Everson wrote:
>>>He simply used the word "ENGLISH" as a symbol for the English language!
>Why a gif? Why not plain text?

Right, why not?

Actually, the guy already had a GIF there (representing the Union Jack).
When he realized that it was a nationalist symbol, he hacked it out in a
hurry without redesignig the whole page (there were also other icons, for
other items: money for "subscriptions", a musical instrument for "music",

However, using plain text brings us back to the hot "in what encoding?"
issue (and back on topic, BTW:-).

Imagine a multi-language web site featuring English, Chinese, Japanese,
Russian, etc.
Each supported language has its own mono-language pages, properly encoded in
whatever comes handy (Latin1, GB, JIS, KOI8, etc.).

But imagine that these localized versions are all accessed through a single
start page, that will look like like:

        *** Welcome at Foo Bar Limited! ***
        Please select your language:
        - English
        - [Han4yu3] (in Han characters)
        - [Nippongo] (in Han characters)
        - [Russkiy] (in Cyrillic)
        - etc.

What an encoding should be used for this multi-script page? UTF-8? Maybe,
but how do you know that every passer-by has UTF-8 support? And however, how
do you know that all your visitors have all the required fonts properly

So, if the only multi-script document I need on my site is a
language-selector page like this, I could, for the time being, be happy with
GIF's containing the language's name. (Of course, it is good practice that
every picture has its ALT text, even in good old ASCII, so that braille and
text-only browsers can make sense of it).


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:20:56 EDT